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Cambodia to cut public holidays from 28 to 22

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President of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Prime Minister Hun Sen attends a ceremony to mark the 68th anniversary of the establishment of the party in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Cambodia’s nearly full month of public holidays will be cut to 22 days next year, with International Human Rights Day, a Buddhist festival and four others set to be axed, local media reported on Wednesday.

The South-East Asian nation, however, will remain near the top of the list of countries with the most government-granted time off.

Sri Lanka has 25 public holidays, while India and Kazakhstan have 21, according to World Atlas’s website.

Cambodia will reduce its holidays following complaints from international investors that it had more vacation time than other nations, government spokesman Ek Tha told the Phnom Penh Post.

The newspaper cited a sub-decree on public holidays for workers and civil servants signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and seen by the Post on Tuesday.

Hun Sen said in March that the number of holidays would be reduced to encourage investment and drive continued growth.

Cambodia has sustained about 7 per cent annual growth since 2011, but business leaders have called for fewer holidays to better compete and improve efficiency.

The holidays to be axed include Human Rights Day (December 10), Children’s Day (June 1) and Paris Peace Agreements Day (October 23), which marks the signing of the 1991 peace accords that ended the conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam following the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge.

Other holidays to be cut, according to the Khmer Times, are the Meak Bochea Buddhist festival, King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday and the National Day of Remembrance, which is one of multiple days commemorating Khmer Rouge victims.


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